Camping. Something I associate with being in the bush or on top of a mountain with no running water and a lot of dirt. Something Daniel was not keen on. So we compromised, found a dog friendly caravan park and booked an ensuite site on the beach at Tathra for a week.
I have a tent, bought whilst at uni during a closing down sale of one of the few independent camping stores in Melbourne. It’s sturdy and waterproof and easily fits two people and their stuff. We borrowed a friend’s mattress and a large esky from Daniel’s parents. It’s really not that hard to put together enough stuff to get you through a week when there’s a camp kitchen and a shower and toilet close by. We did buy a large tarp to provide shade and extra rain protection. It wasn’t the best idea. The combination of average quality tarp and strong coastal winds lead to torn eyelets from severe flapping. We took it down after four days.
Toby, our border collie, was placated on the 6 hour drive with toys stuffed with peanut butter and frequent breaks for a run around and wee. He was actually very good for his first time in the car hammock and long trip. We stopped for morning tea of home made chia puddings and a cuppa. Daniel liked the pudding, much to my surprise. The watertight jars came in handy later on as storage in the esky.
All set up and down to the beach. I immediately knew why Daniel wanted to take me to Tathra. It’s beautiful. I love the beach, and this one delivered. It was Toby’s first experience of the ocean and he ran in head first (literally) to reappear covered in sand and supremely happy.
We set up our beach umbrella, fished, read, cooked easy meals, bought fish and chips, got a little bit sunburnt, swam, lost the frisbee in the ocean, ate ice cream, talked. It was wonderful to get away. I was surprised to find bulk food stores in two of the small towns we visited on day trips. Pambula and Bermagui both have independent bulk stores with a great selection. I tried to make our trip as waste free as possible, but a combination of being caught up doing a job application right till the last minute and wanting to make the trip as easy as possible for Daniel so he would want to go camping again, meant that it was average at best. If I had known about these stores beforehand I would have been more organised; as it was, I bought coconut from one and nothing from the other. But I was thrilled to find them and will know next time to look up options before we leave. I was interested that one served coffee and smoothies in disposable cups as well as offering zero waste food and beverage containers. It’s contradictory in my opinion. The coffee van at the caravan park gave 50c off for bringing your own cup too.
Afterthoughts. We want to buy a second hand camper trailer/caravan. It will make everything so much quicker and easier for this type of camping. All set up and ready to go. No tarp disasters. Cupboards stocked with unpackaged food. One can dream.